Sunday Musings: Olympics Without the Crowds — Sign of Changing Times?

I'm not much of a TV watcher, but must confess to having a certain weakness for watching the Olympics, just because it's a conglomeration of elite athletes from so many places... and we typically get to see both sports and athletes we'd not normally get to see.

In particular, I love the idea of seeing someone I've never heard of from a nation I've almost never heard of take on the superstars of the world and occasionally cause an upset that leaves half the world scratching their collective heads.

The Olympics were a Really Big Deal when I was a kid and well into my 20's, at which point I started getting too busy with This Thing Called Life™ to pay as much attention as I used to.

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It's Just Not the Same...

Try as I might to feel otherwise, something just feels "off" about the Tokyo Olympics.

Perhaps it's the fact that we're having the 2020 Olympics in 2021; perhaps it's the fact there are no crowds in the stands that make it all feel — in some weird way — a bit colorless and flat.

No disrespect to the athletes who undoubtedly worked every bit as hard as for any other Olympic Games to reach peak perfection, but somehow the absence of crowds of enthusiastic people who often invested almost their life savings for their one chance to be at an actual Olympics combined with the pervasive presence of face masks... just leave me with this subtext feeling of meh.

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Life, as it Now Exists?

In many ways, it's the same feeling of "meh" that now seems to run through pretty much every aspect of our lives, in virtually every corner of the globe.

I remember last year when my therapist friend first used the phrase "Covid Fatigue" to describe not anything to do with actually being ill, nor to do with actually being depressed, but instead to reflect that... sense of weariness... that goes with having to put extra emotional bandwidth and energy into "remembering there's a pandemic" before every single action we take.

Even though many might argue that we simply have reached a "new normal" after 18 months, the very subdued Olympic events I have watched so far feel like a poignant reminder that life seems to have lost a bit of its color; a bit of its intensity since January of 2020. Perhaps nowhere did it feel more evident than during the soccer match between France and South Africa, in which the underdog South Africans took the lead no less than three times in a cliffhanger game that finally ended with a 4-3 French victory with only moments to go.

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Fading Significance...

Somehow, the absence of a packed stadium that would have created a deafening wall of noise during the second half of that game made it feel... less significant, somehow.

And so, I find myself thinking about this shift in perceptions... and decided that the best thing was to go do some work in our vegetable garden, because what we have here at home seems to have more authentic significance than it once did... growing those veggies feels very real, in some way. As will my follow-up action of putting a bunch of things out for sale on eBay... again, a home activity.

Maybe these are simply the times, as we live in them now.

Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your Sunday!

How about YOU? Do sporting events without crowds seem somehow "diluted?" Even if you don't actually MIND being at home, does it seem like the world has lost a bit of its color intensity? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!

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Created at 20210725 14:32 PDT

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